Culture Emerging from Community

Youth artists

Melissa Avina, Manual Arts High School, age 16

The concept of our design is diversity and how it exists everywhere. Different cultures can bring others together. This is the message in our design.

Alexander Lopez, Manual Arts High School, age 16

Our group chose the topic of diversity for our light pole banner. We as a group of artists focused on culture, heritage and the diversity in this community. Many of our designs not only feature historical perspective such as St. Vincent’s Church but also a contemporary perspective like “Fixie,” the bike riding kid. We developed the design into a beautiful piece of art.

Bryttanie Sanchez, Orthopedic Hospital Medical Magnet High School (OHMMHS), age 17

Our banner has to do with the culture of the community including the roots of their culture and the art produced by them. The Aztec/Mayan warrior I drew represented the latin culture in the community. I am fascinated by the culture and the rest of the piece is inspired by the community. The peace sign surrounded by people is the hope that one day there will be peace in the world. The boy on the bicycle represents movement. The use of the bicycle is the use of new transportation which is what Metro does. It keeps the youth and its community mobile.

Lead artist

Luis Genaro Garcia is a social surrealist artist and High school teacher in the neighborhood where he grew up in. As an artist he draws upon the socio-political subject matters of his backgrounds in education and upbringing in the inner-city. As a teacher activist he uses an art-based methodology of civic engagement along with Paulo Freire’s theory of Critical Pedagogy. His focus: to challenge and change the educational limitations of urban students through the use of public art and civic engagement.

“The idea behind our banner developed from the numerous interviews we conducted at the rose garden. From the multiple interviews, we saw the reflection of ethnic history, diversity, and community. The three concepts became the overarching theme for our banner.

“During a dialogue the students were asked to come up with their own rendition of a banner after we all shared examples and ideas. The youth artists also took their ideas and images from photographs, looked over labor / political posters, images from Mexican cinema posters and their own Internet searches to compile their ideas into a sketch.

“The result of our first rendition was a combination of everyone’s ideas put together. We took elements from the ideas of all youth artists and combined them with elements we thought were an important part of the community.

“We took the idea of the world peace symbol to represent the diversity in Los Angeles. An icon of downtown Los Angeles is also represented through the image of the U.S. bank building. The Historic Greco-Roman St. Vincent church references Architecture and Catholicism, the religious faith of manyof Latinos in the community.

“In contrast the images of an Aztec priest and Huastec head figure also make reference to the mother religion, history, and the Art of Meso America, some of which is located at the Natural History museum in a modern Los Angeles, and home to a high population of indigenous descendants.”

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